LAS VEGAS, Nevada - Two days, two campaign speeches in Nevada, and not a specific reference from President Obama about the terrible unemployment rate in the Silver State. Obama made stops in Reno and Las Vegas to promote his education plan on Tuesday and Wednesday and with schools around the country starting this week, he addressed a community college in Reno and a high school in Las Vegas.
He made plenty of statements about his vision on education and how he sees his plan better than his opponents, but not once did he speak of the 12% unemployment rate in Nevada
Instead, he left to more vague references.
"We've been through a tough three and a half years, and Nevada has been through tougher times than most states," Obama told supporters in Las Vegas. "But the fact is that everything I've done has been focused on how we rebuild that strong middle class," he continued.
No surprise Obama's challengers disagree with the Romney-Ryan campaign fired back. "The Obama economy has been deeply unfair to the next generation, burdening them with trillions in new debt and leaving half of recent graduates jobless or underemployed," Romney Campaign Spokesperson Amanda Henneberg said in a statement.
Nevada saw unemployment peak at 14% in October 2010. Since then its remained in double digits while the national rate has hovered around 8%.
The president is poised to defend his policies and knows the Republicans are all but ready to attack him over the next three months. "They won't be talking about much, but they will spend more money than we've ever seen on ads that just try to repeat the same thing over and over again: The economy is not doing as well as it should, and it's all Obama's fault." he said.
The housing market is another place Nevada residences are still hurting, with the sixth worst housing foreclosure rate in the nation. More than 60% of homes are underwater in the state, meaning houses are worth less than the mortgage on the property.
Ia meeting with teachers before his campaign rally, Obama expressed his concern for the financial crisis that had an impact on the market in Clark County and throughout the state, "There was a lot of loose credit floating around a housing bubble, that spurred reckless behavior on the part of Wall Street," he said. "And when that whole house of cards came crashing down, Nevada got hit harder than just any place else."
Romney says the fact that the Nevada housing market hasn't improved in the last three years is a reflection of Obama's policies. In an interview with a Reno television station this week, Romney said Nevada home owners need more options to avoid foreclosure.
President Obama has traveled to Nevada 13 times since taking office. This week was his first campaign trip to the state. In 2008 Obama won the state of Nevada over Senator John McCain with 55% of the vote.